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Donna Scarborough, 88

Donna Marie Scarborough, 88, Hudson, Wisconsin, died Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, after a brief illness.

Donna was born January 10, 1925 to Willis and Clara (Erickson) Harper in Greenbush. She graduated from Windom High School in 1942 and in April 1943 married William Scarborough at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Windom.

The young couple was separated early on as Bill was sent to Augustana College in Illinois to attend Army Air Corps Officer Training. After becoming a full-fledged "90-day wonder," he was commissioned and sent to flight school, where he transitioned to B-25J medium bombers. His plane, the "Donna Marie," was slated to fly to Alameda, California and loaded for the Pacific Theatre. Japans surrender ended his military career.

After the war, this Greatest Generation couple got on with their married lives with Bill attending college at Augsburg and Donna working tirelessly at a physicians office. In 1950, bill was offered a teaching job in Parkers Prairie. Also in 1950, their son Mike was born and in 1953 a daughter arrived, Susan Jo.

Donna was the ultimate better woman behind a great man. She was his best friend and biggest booster. Her childrens lives were not very different from Mayberry or that of Beaver Cleaver as they relished and matured in small-town life. Donna made cinnamon rolls, oatmeal raisin cookies and other treats to die for.

Her kids always won first prize for Halloween costumes that she made. She helped set her sons broken arm and was there when he needed stitches, which was often, as he was prone to doing then. She was there with chicken soup and Vicks VapoRub when they were ill. She was a wonderful mother; the best that two kids could have ever hoped for.

If there was one thing Donna really enjoyed, it was Big Band swing dancing, most especially the jitterbug. At high school sock hops, the kids would clear the floor, put on some 40s swing, and watch Mr. Scarborough and his wife dance. She was Fred Astaire, he was Ginger Rogers, however. She led and could really cut a rug.

In 1966, the family moved to Morris, where Bill was an administrator at the University of Minnesota, Morris and Donna was once again engaged in the medical field. Her caring and sincere manner endeared her to the UMM students and to many she was their mom away from home. She had a soft heart but softer shoulder.

After Bill died in 1979, she continued to live in Morris for some time but relocated to Hudson to be closer to her daughter Susan and her two sons in her retirement.

Donna and Susan backpacked through Europe together and have visited several other destinations as well. Theirs was a particularly strong bond and through Donnas last years, Susan proved to be a relentless, caring advocate for her mother.

Donna loved to help people and it didnt take long for her to be volunteering in the Hudson community. She read to elementary school classes and spent 11 years at the Hudson Hospitals welcome desk. Here she met many people that have proven to be dear friends, people that were drawn to her because of her quick wit and great sense of humor.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents and, of course, her hero, Bill.

She leaves behind one sister, Barbara Lorimier, Texas; son, Michael and his wife Susan and their two daughters, Quinn of Wisconsin and Paige of Alexandria; and Susan Jo of Hudson and her two sons, Grady and Colin. Also mourning her loss are a niece and nephew, Lisa Snapp, Texas, and Steven Garman, Idaho.

Donna was a gracious and sincere woman of firm belief. She taught many so much. For her son, he learned early on that every gentleman is a man, but not every man is a gentleman. Her daughter learned to dream, reach and exceed. And then there is this for all to consider: One five oclock bourbon will get you 89 years.

A memorial service to celebrate Donnas life will be held at a later date in Wintergreen, her Hudson home. Music will be provided by Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers and several others.